So . . . you think you already know how to be a parent? Despite the fact that no one knows it all, you have never parented children who have been abused and neglected. You were the oldest of several siblings growing up or you already have three children of your own. What this does prove is that you know that children come in many different shapes and sizes, as well as different personalities and can develop their own specific problems. This is why MAPP/GPS class is effective. Most of the children within "the system" have similar traits, situational difficulties, medical problems, and/or behavioral problems. With the knowledge you gain in MAPP/GPS class, you will be better prepared on how to deal with the traits you are not familiar with.
Your children, or the ones you feel you have gained your parenting experience from, have more than likely had at least one parental figure in their life that they could rely on, that fed them, that taught them right and wrong, and that guided them through the paths of life. Imagine for a moment that just ONE of those weren't available. No one to rely on. No food. No discipline. Would your children, or the ones you have been around for some time, even be the same child? Think about it.
An orientation, ten meetings, and a home study are all part of this training program designed to enable participants to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will lead to successful foster and adoptive placements. All prospective foster and adoptive parents are required to participate in this training program in order to become licensed as foster parents and approved as adoptive parents.
MAPP/GPS class is a FUN, exciting experience that you will walk away feeling as if you learned something from every class. Don't get frustrated that you have to spend 30 hours in a classroom setting, but be glad there is a resource out there available to use and learn from.
Welcome to the Group Preparation and Selection Program
Acquaints leaders and participants with the Group Preparation and Selection Program and each other. Explanation of the process; discussion of foster care, adoption, and permanency planning; outline and discussion of the roles and responsibilities of foster parenting and adoptive parenting; communication skills building.
Where MAPP Leads: A Foster Care & Adoption Experience
Overview of a foster care and adoption experience from the perspectives of clients (children and parents), foster parents, adoptive parents, and child welfare workers. Demonstrates the stresses and losses which can lead to foster care placement or adoption; what happens if a foster home placement or adoption does not work out; how families are reunited; how children are moved into adoption; and how some youth in foster care move into independent living.
Losses and Gains: The Need to be a Loss Expert
Explores the impact of separation on the growth and development of children, and the impact of foster care and adoptive placement on the emotions and behaviors of children and parents. Examines personal losses (death, divorce, infertility, children leaving home) and how difficult life experiences affect success as adoptive parents or foster parents. Emphasizes the partnership roles of foster parents, adoptive parents, and social workers in turning separation losses into gains.
Helping Children with Attachments
Explores the subject of attachment and child development. Focuses on how attachments are formed and the special needs of children in foster care and adoption (especially in the areas of building self-concept and appropriate behavior). Discusses the partnership roles of foster parents, adoptive parents, and child welfare workers in helping children form new attachments.
Helping Children Learn to Manage Their Behaviors
Discusses techniques for managing behavior, with an emphasis on alternatives to physical punishment. Topics include special issues in discipline for children who have been physically or sexually abused or neglected. Techniques to be discussed include being a "behavior detective," reinforcement, time out, mutual problem solving, structuring and setting limits, negotiating, and contracting.
Helping Children with Birth Family Connections
Examines the importance of helping children in care maintain and build upon their identity, self-concept, and connections. Considers issues such as how children's cultures and ethnic backgrounds help shape their identity; the connections children risk losing when they enter care; and why visits and contacts with birth families and previous foster families are important.
Gains and Losses: Helping Children Leave Foster Care
Discusses family reunification as the primary case planning goal as well as alternatives like foster care, adoption, and independent living. Examines disruption and its impact on children, families, and agency staff. This meeting also focuses on the partnership role of child welfare workers, foster parents, and adoptive parents in helping children move home, into an adoptive home or into independent living.
Understanding the Impact of Fostering or Adopting
In the previous meetings, we discussed and "felt" what foster care and what adoption are all about. We learned about separation and attachment, how to build and maintain relationships with children and how to support them in working out the emotions they have for the important people in their lives. We've devoted a lot of time to the roles of both the foster parents and the adoptive parents, and the special way they will improve the lives of many children and families. But what will be the impact of all this effort on the foster families and adoptive families? How will this experience affect their marriage, children, relatives, friends, job, and income? In Meeting 8, we find out!
Perspectives in Adoptive and Foster Parenting
This meeting is open to all members of prospective foster and adoptive families, especially children, grandparents, close friends—anyone who will play a major role in the foster family or adoptive family. This meeting features guest foster families and adoptive families. The guests will talk about their personal experiences in fostering and adopting. Some of the topics include: impact on marriage and family, visiting parents, discipline, searching, helping children with family reunification, and making adoptions work. Other panel members may be attorneys, social workers, and birth parents.
Endings and Beginnings
The important tasks of this meeting will be to assess group members' strengths and needs as foster parents or adoptive parents. There also will be some time to say good-bye ... the ending. As the preparation/mutual selection process is coming to an end, so begins the transition into becoming a foster family or adoptive family ... the beginning.
The MAPP/TIPS class is a 30-hour training program held twice a week from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Each class is held at the Department of Social Services, 741 North Highland Avenue in Winston-Salem, NC 27101.
All classes are held on Monday and Thursday nights from 6:00 - 9:00 pm unless otherwise noted.